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The Usenet has a similar structure to a large blackboard on which every user is free to leave messages regarding any conceivable topic. Every day, thousands of messages and GBs of content are posted and pooled in so-called newsgroups. Every newsgroup is dedicated to a different topic. In order to structure this incredible amount of data in a clear way, the Usenet has a hierarchical structure. The majority of newsgroups fall into the overriding categories "comp.*", "soc.*", "sci.*", "humanities.*", "misc.*", "news.*", "rec.*" and "alt.*". The name of individual newsgroups in contrast usually relates to the content within it.
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|alt.||alt.,„alternative“ - discussion of all topics|
|comp.||comp.,„computer“ - computer-related topics|
|humanities.||Culture and the arts|
|misc.||misc.,„miscellaneous“ - various topics which don't fall into other categories|
|news.||Discussions about the Usenet itself|
|rec.||rec.,„recreational“ - leisure and relaxation, art and culture|
|sci.||sci.,„science“ - science and technology|
|soc.||soc.,„social“ - social topics|
|talk.||General discussions, religion and politics|
The group "alt." is particularly important and is generally the most popular. This is the platform for all possible topics and for exchanging all manner of files, so-called binaries. This is where the diversity of the Usenet really becomes apparent, as "alt" truly offers a completely free exchange of all information and content.